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Hooking your hybrid too much? Here’s why the shaft could be the problem

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So, I have this recurring nightmare; I smoke one down the par 5 18th hole at my home course. Get to the ball and laser; 222 front, 227 pin. Perfect hybrid distance. I pull off the head cover, do my pre-shot routine and the ball takes off relatively straight. Then, it starts to curve left. Then it’s not just a curve, but a huge hook… and then SPLASH! In the pond short left.

Fed up with this dream, which is all-too-realistic based on my real game, I finally sought out answers while at a recent PGA Tour event. “Hey Kim! How are you sir?” I said.

“Brendan, how are you sir?” responded Kim Braly, my buddy and Director of R&D and Tour Operations at KBS Shafts.

“Well, not very good. As you know I love to play golf but have been struggling with my hybrid; I just seem to have the problem of duck hooking it at the worst times. Drives me crazy!” I responded.

“Look, next week at the Tour stop, why don’t you come spend time with me. It will be great to catch up and I think I might be able to help give you some insight into your problem” said Kim.

Day in the Tour Van? No snap hooks? Sold.

Arriving early, I was greeted at the Tour Van by Kim Braly and John Weber of KBS. “Welcome! Welcome, Brendan! Great to see you,” said Kim as I made my way up the stairs and entered the van. As we shook hands and greeted everyone, I handed Kim my hybrid for his thoughts and inspection. He quickly set it aside and said, “Brendan, what you have is a widespread problem with graphite because of the process of making the shaft. Unlike steel, which is a consistent material and easy to work with, graphite is complex. Graphite shafts are made through a process, which usually involves two or three sheets being cut and then woven together electronically to fit manufactures specifications. Although we have consistently gotten better at the process, graphite has limitations and it is very hard to make it stiff, light and consistent.”

I nodded and stopped, “Why is it so hard?” I questioned.

“When working with steel, you have almost perfect consistency and durability but have few options with weight (that’s why the lightest steel shafts are approximately 95 grams). With graphite you have greater problems with consistency; people want lighter, but it becomes hard to make stiff. As a result, many graphite hybrid shafts have large windows of frequency and they tend to be weak or soft. The result? Often that miss left you are struggling with!” explained Kim.

“So, does that mean that I need to change to steel? I will do anything to stop those quakers!” I responded.

“No. Most graphite companies are used to making wood shafts, not iron shafts. We have a ton of data to understand what players need in a hybrid shaft,” said Kim as he picked up my hybrid and walked towards the work bench. “The shaft we are going to test is our KBS Tour Hybrid Proto. It has very close to the same stiffness profile as our KBS Tour, which is what you play in your irons.”

“Oh, awesome! I love my iron shafts and honestly a lot of times I choose to hit 4-iron instead of my hybrid because I have a lot more confidence it will not go left!” I responded.

With meticulous precision, Kim worked on my hybrid. First, he applied heat and removed the head. He then cleaned the inside of the head and started the process of re-shafting the club. “We are going to ‘Pure’ this hybrid shaft, using this machine,” said Kim as he took the shaft and inserted it into one of the space-aged looking contraptions on the Van. He hit a button, the shaft spun and done. “That machine helped us to understand where the shaft should be placed to optimize performance. Now we need to get a ferrule, glue the club and have you pick a grip” he said as he opened Pandora’s box of grips.

My eyes went wide, and I started to look through the grips, finally settling on one, “how about this?” I said as I handed it to Kim.

“Perfect,” he said. “Let me put it on and we will be ready.” After about 15 minutes of letting everything dry, Kim presented me with my new weapon; it was beautiful! I thanked him and took off to the car, excited to test the club at my local club.

As I got into the car, I called my best friend Julian: “Bro, can you get an emergency 9 in? I just got a new KBS Proto shaft in my hybrid and I am feeling muy confident!”

“KBS Proto! Whaaaa? That’s a killer shaft. Phil Mickelson used one this year when he won. I’ve wanted one soooooo bad. Ya, I’m on the putting green. Let’s play!” responded Julian.

Of course, we headed off the back and on the 18th hole I smoked one leaving 216 yards to the pin. It was the moment of truth; hybrid time. Pulled the club, went through my routine and SMASH. “Pure!” said Julian as I smiled and watched the ball sail straight towards the green.

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Brendan is the owner of Golf Placement Services, a boutique business which aims to apply his background in golf and higher education to help educate players, their families and coaches about the process! Website - www.golfplacementservices.com Insta - golf.placement.sevices Twitter @BMRGolf

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Pooter

    Aug 29, 2018 at 2:03 am

    We are all dumber for having read this. I award you no points and may god have mercy on your soul.

  2. Nathan

    Aug 2, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Why not just get your Driver shaft pured with a new KBS Tour Shaft? That way, you’ll hit it 30 yards further, leaving yourself only 190 in to the flag, where you can stiff your 6 iron (with KBS shaft)? Seems like a much better solution to me.

  3. Poot

    Aug 2, 2018 at 2:16 am

    This is why KBS is overrated, and I will never use their shafts as they all feel like cr!p

  4. JARED BRANT

    Aug 2, 2018 at 1:10 am

    Hate to say that I actually feel dumber now that I read and reread this article multiple times. I thought I missed a paragraph that may have explained something about the loft, grip size, stiffness, length or anything that would cause the ball to go left. I think it ultimately just said that I should buy a shaft made of “Pure Steel”?!

  5. Offcho

    Aug 1, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    This might be the worst article/click bait ever on GolfWRX. I want my wasted time back reading this garbage.

  6. woof

    Aug 1, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    lol look at all the true temper kids getting mad online

  7. Ron Swanson

    Aug 1, 2018 at 4:48 pm

    This story is awful, misleading and the statements being made by Kim Braly are embarrassing for someone in the golf industry whose business is shafts. Also, he knocks graphite, but yet their “proto” shaft is made of graphite, a material they have NO expertise in? First of all, his statements about graphite are grossly untrue. And also, if graphite is so inconsistent then why is it used in driver shafts for players with swing speeds upwards of 125 mph? Hybrids go left because they are almost always too upright from the factory, period. It aint the shaft. This article should be deleted as it is reciting false quotes and misleading your readers. This is embarrassing for GolfWRX to have on their website.

  8. Pete O'Tube

    Aug 1, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Dreadful, overexcited journalism.

  9. PT

    Aug 1, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    What hybrid are you using? What loft?
    Terrible advertorial for KBS, this.

  10. JD

    Aug 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    I sure hope KBS didn’t pay very much for this article.

  11. stevez

    Aug 1, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    most hybrids are 1.5″ longer than the similar # iron, think Wishon has said the hybrid length should be similar to iron.

  12. DB

    Aug 1, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Interesting info, just don’t know why you wrote the article as if your audience was 13 year-old girls.

  13. Max

    Aug 1, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Hooking hybrids off the planet? Here are some reasons:
    -ball too far forward in stance
    -standing too far away from the ball, promoting an in to out path
    -club is too upright
    -club is too light
    -club is draw biased
    -stock shaft is a wet noodle piece of garbage

    • larrybud

      Aug 1, 2018 at 3:13 pm

      Bingo on all fronts. My main issue is too upright. I play 3 flat irons, and with the 3/4 hybrid they don’t get too hooky, but with the 5 the face is aiming left unless I open it up a bit.

  14. David

    Aug 1, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Light, weak, high-torque shafts in hybrids (especially higher lofted hybrids) are what pretty much all OEM’s install in their hybrids. They want the ball to go “high and far” with hybrids. It’s a recipe for disaster.

    You want to hit your hybrids rock-solid? Get heavier, stiffer shafts in your hybrids than the OEM wants to put in them and you will be on your way to much, much better shots with your hybrids, and they will more faithfully replace the iron they are supposed to replace that way also. Just look out for lofts. a 23 degree hybrid is a 5-hybrid??? WTF?? You will hit that every bit as far (or farther) than a typical 4-iron.

    SMH at OEM’s….

  15. carl

    Aug 1, 2018 at 12:24 pm

    Yep you hooked your hybrid cause the shaft wasnt pured. HaHaHa

    Also calling people ‘Bro’ after you get your new $200 KBS hybrid shaft is a must

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Whats in the Bag

Kevin Na’s winning WITB: 2019 Charles Schwab Challenge

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Driver: Callaway GBB Epic (9 degrees)


Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD GP 6-TX

3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana BF 70 TX

Hybrid: PXG 0317 X Gen 2 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 95X

Irons: Callaway Rogue Pro (4), Callaway Apex Pro 16 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 Wedges (50, 54 degrees), Vokey Design prototype (’18) (60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Odyssey Toulon Madison

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Equipment

The top-5 longest drivers on the PGA Tour and their driver/shaft combos

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Let’s take a look at what the PGA Tour’s biggest bombers thus far in 2018-2019 are using to launch their rockets.

1. Cameron Champ

Average drive: 315.6 yards


Driver: Ping G400 Max (9 degrees @ 7.9)


Shaft: Fujikura Pro 63 TS (44.75 inches, tipped 1.5 inches)

T2. Luke List

Average drive: 314.4 yards
Driver: TaylorMade M6 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana White D+ 80TX

T2. Rory McIlroy

Average drive: 314.4 yards


Driver: TaylorMade M5 (9 degrees)


Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK White 70TX

4. Tony Finau

Average drive: 311.5 yards


Driver: Ping G410 Plus (9 degrees @ 8)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana RF 70-TX (45.25 inches, tipped 1 inch)

5. Wyndham Clark

Average drive: 311.4 yards


Driver: PXG 0811 XF GEN2 (10 degrees)


Shaft: Accra Prototype (45.25 inches)

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight Review: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

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Product: TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3

Pitch: The TaylorMade M5 fairway Rocket 3 is a stronger-lofted version of the standard TaylorMade M5 3-wood. The Rocket is 14 degrees. The standard M5 is 15.

Our take on the TaylorMade M5 Rocket 3

“WOW, you really hit that 3-wood like a rocket!”

” Not like a rocket… an actual Rocket!”

The beloved 3-wood. A favorite club of both average golfers and pros alike, a club that many will hold onto well after what some might consider their “best before” date. But with new options and improved technology, these old faithfuls are getting the boot quicker for a lot of reasons including the ability to better dial in a fit and help minimizing misses.

Since making a club faster off the middle is becoming more and more difficult thanks to the limits set forth but the USGA, OEMs are changing the way we think about clubs and putting a greater focus on decreasing dispersion and optimizing misses. TaylorMade is doing this with TwistFace, which was originally introduced in drivers a generation ago, and has now been included in the M5 and M6 fairway woods.

I got to spend some time with the knowledgeable crew at TaylorMade Canada in their new indoor facility just north of Toronto (lets call it Kingdom North) In that time, we went through a driver fitting, and then to the new M5 fairway woods to try and replace one of my oldest faithfuls: a 14-degree SLDR Tour Spoon. To say I have a unique ability to elevate a fairway wood is something that even my fitter was a little surprised by. My numbers with my cranked down to 12 degree (measured) fairway off the deck were good but could be improved. I can hit it both ways (as much as a 6-handicap can actually claim that) but my trusted go-to shot is a slight fade with some heel bias contact because of my swing. I am willing to sacrifice some distance but usually hit it where I want.

What I saw at the end of the fitting was a club that produced longer shots along with a tighter dispersion without having to make or to try and make any changes to my swing. The final fit was a 14-degree “Rocket” M5 fairway set to 12 degrees. It beat out my SLDR by a total of nine yards, which is an increase of just over a total of three percent, including an additional six yards of carry.

To say I was honestly surprised would be an understatement. The SLDR TS is a club that the first time I hit it I went WHOA! Low spin, workable, looks exactly how I want that club to look (small and compact). You can see from the numbers below when it works it works.

Why does TwistFace work?

Let’s explain and get a little deep in the technology weeds for a second. Bulge and roll is not a new concept. In fact, it would be a lie to claim that all OEMs haven’t done something similar to this is the past or played with these two variables to help golfers hit better shots. Fact: Every OEM optimizes the bulge and roll on their clubs to increase speed and maximize performance. Tom Wishon actually had a line of woods at one point that went the other way had VERY limited roll from the top tine to the sole. With this design, more loft on the bottom of the head helped players who miss low or need help elevating the ball off the deck increase launch and spin. It worked. Cobra also has what it calls E9 technology to tweak bulge and roll to help maximize the speed and forgiveness of their woods. It also works.

What makes TaylorMade’s TwistFace different is that it is the most aggressive iteration of this bulge and roll tweaking yet, and by introducing it into the fairway woods and hybrids, it’s proving to be a winner — even for this now-proven wrong skeptic.

At the end of the day, the M5 Ti “Rocket” was a measurable improvement over my previous 3-wood. Now it would be disingenuous to say “if you aren’t using TwistFace in your fairway woods you’re not maximized,” but if you are someone that struggles with fairway wood dispersion and looking to find some extra distance for taking on par-5s, taking a look at the new M5 and M6 fairway woods as part of your next fitting should be very high on your list.

 

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